Kevin Myers: Dutch built barriers to avoid becoming part of North Sea. We must erect barriers or we become part of Grossdeutschland
Just listen to the Europhiles discussing the next stage of European integration. It's rather like some Zeppelin-enthusiasts at Lakehurst Naval Station beside the smoking remains of the Hindenburg asking: What time does the return flight to Germany depart, please? So what's left of the political project to create a united Europe of equal parties, with the cremated torso of Greece in the tail-section, and Ireland's corpse in the nose, and poor old Portugal, nearly a cinder amidships? And still sitting at the helm with a smile on its face is Germany.
The Zeppelin analogy ends here, because whereas the Hindenburg was a complete calamity, the disaster that is the EU is only a political setback for Germany's ambitions for a united Europe. Economically, it remains as strong as ever, because Germany has never ceased to make things that tick, or click or go vroom.
Meanwhile, the domestic economies of half a dozen other EU countries have been broken by their insane membership of the euro, a single currency that should properly be called the Grossdeutschmark. In Ireland, a euro-obsessed political-class is now an obedient functionary of Berlin; thus we have the astonishing sight of the Irish taxpayer servilely reimbursing German banks and their shareholders for their quite insane investments in the Hibernian South Sea Bubble called Anglo Irish.
It's about time we accepted the epochal truth of the German juggernaut. Germany's dominance of Europe has happened too often to be mistaken for a series of accidents. Two questions logically arise. Why has this repeatedly occurred? And why have the French -- in particular -- now chosen to throw in their lot with German expansionism?
My own personal experience of Germans has always been alarming: with a few exceptions, they have been friendly, interesting and shockingly knowledgeable. And German women? Sensational! Moreover, for all their regrets about Germany's deplorable behaviour towards its neighbours between 1845 and 1945, the Germans still possess an unquenchable sense of Germanness, and of their own indomitable future. Many observers have written of the Germans' querulousness about foreign military engagements, and of their addiction to alternative quacky medicines, but neither phenomenon is truly new. The German fondness for the soil, for empathy with the woodlands, takes different forms. The Hitler Youth was one, the Greens are another: one malign, the other benign. All cultures have such Janus-like dualities.
It is the sheer inventiveness of German culture which is so astonishing -- and not just in Germany. The economic and culinary cultures of the US are primarily German. Boeing, Kraft, Heinz, Helmann, Heffner, hamburger, cookies, frankfurter, sauerkraut, coleslaw, Schlitz, Miller, Budweiser, and the Moravian Wright Brothers, make America more thoroughly American than does any other identity.
This before we come to modern Germany itself: BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi, VW, Krupp, Siemens, Miele, Muller yoghurt, Cambozola cheeses, never mind Germany's inventions: washing machines, jet-engines, ballistic rockets, radar, television, toothpaste and aspirin. The modern world that we inhabit was made more by Germany than by any other European nationality: together with the German-American contribution, technologically we already live in Grossdeutschland.
Certainly, we cannot compete in any sense with the Germans. No one in Europe can. They are the best. Without barriers of some kind, we end up in thrall to them: while we had the punt, and our own interest rates, we had a natural defence, a dam-wall against inundation by Grossdeutschland. But the euro -- the Grossdeutschmark -- has destroyed those defences, with the result that at least two future generations of Irish people face unpayable debts to the Grossdeutschland Imperial Bank, which trades under the disingenuous title of "European Central Bank".
Only the world population explosion, and the resulting shortage of food, has caused Irish agricultural land prices to rocket, thereby preventing, for the moment anyway, a wholesale German takeover of Irish estates. And meanwhile, of course, Germans are busy buying the most enticing islands of Greece, and probably much of Spain, Italy and Portugal as well.
Every single Irish person I've met who has worked in Germany says that the Germans don't work all that hard, and that the Irish are more punctual and productive: to which I say yes, maybe, IN GERMANY, but not here. And anyway, it's not Germans who do the work, but German machine-tools, and German technology, and German robots: aka, German brains.
What I don't understand -- and probably can never be made to understand -- is why the French, who were invaded three times in 70 years by Germany, and whose lands and cities were laid waste thricefold, are now an ally in the formation of this New and Permanent Grossdeutschland. But why should I understand anything? I don't have a clue why the Germans are the best at almost everything, from aeronautics to zoology. They simply are.
So a lesson from history. The Dutch decided to erect barriers to prevent themselves becoming part of the North Sea. Similarly, we must erect barriers, or we become part of Grossdeutschland, just as the PIGS countries are right now being economically subsumed. It is rather like the radical choice one must make between being A) an anaesthetising gas; B) ferrous rock: that is to say, ether/ore.